September 24th 1915


It has been a very sad beginning of term, having to tell the boys that their dearly loved masters, Mr Eastwood and Mr Higginson, have both given their lives for their country.

They were the greatest of friends, although contrasting personalities. Eastwood was the practical, determined, go-ahead character, whilst Higgie was the idealist, the dreamer, the artist, musician and poet.

Leslie Eastwood had been with us since 1907 and had become a first-rate schoolmaster. His form was noted for its ‘thoroughness.’ Strict without being severe, he won the respect and love of his boys and they would at any time do anything for him. It was very seldom indeed that he had to ‘send’ a boy ‘in’ to me and yet he had his form always under control. At games, he was most keen and successful in his coaching and showed a manly and loyal spirit that was most stimulating. As a comrade to me on the Blue Dragon he was splendid.

‘Higgie’ was different in some ways. He was more of the idealist, more intellectual perhaps, a writer and thinker, a musician and artist; but he also endeared himself to us and his special work in inspiring enthusiasm for painting and singing was quite unique. The way in which he conquered the difficulties of the introduction of musical comedy at the OPS (H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance) at once stamped him as a genius in organization and initiative.

Well, we are all proud of the part they have taken in our country’s hour of need and oh, so sorry that we shall no more have them amongst us.

We will all miss them very much.

September 22nd 1915


Capt. Thomas Higginson (Shropshire Light Infantry).

Our most recent grief has been compounded by the news that on the day after the death of Leslie Eastwood, his friend and colleague on the OPS staff,  ‘Higgie,’ was killed in a most tragic accident.

The Commanding Officer’s letter to his parents explains the circumstances of his death:

“He was sitting in a dug-out with another officer about 1.30 a.m. yesterday morning, the 20th September, when the roof collapsed. He had spent most of the day before altering it and adding more bricks and earth to make it proof against shell fire. He must have put on more than the beams could stand, as it gave way.”

Higgie was educated at Ludlow Grammar School and won an Exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford. Here he helped his parents keep him at College by journalism, and made quite a large sum by his contributions to the ‘Westminster’ and ‘Pall Mall’ magazines, amongst others.

In the holidays, with congenial friends, he used to pose as a tramp. They hired a barrel-organ and would sing (in harmony) as they moved around the country, seeing life from a different standpoint to the ordinary one.

He leaves behind Winifred, his wife of only 4 months.